Associate Magazine-Jan/Mar 2021
Continued from "In the Chill of the Night", on page 15
offender long enough without losing consciousness that enabled other officers to bring the incident to closure without others be- ing injured. Or when Officer Dana Crocker of the Knoxville Police Department this past August provided a homeless man with a pair of shoes and a new shirt. The investigation of the horrific acts involving children underscores the primacy inherent to the police protecting the weak and innocent. While at the same time this type of work also highlights the critical need for us all to formally recognize the value of wellness programs that law enforcement officers can avail themselves of when what is experienced on the job lingers on. Special Agents Laura Schwartzenberger and Daniel Alfin were among a team of dedicated FBI agents that investigated crimes against children. With so many other crimes the FBI investi- gates, these agents chose to specialize in these types of crimes knowing the difficulty and challenges inherent to that work. On the morning of February 2, 2021, while serving a Federal search warrant in connection with a case involving child pornography and violent crime, Schwartzberger and Alfin were among five agents who were shot. Regrettably, they did not survive, but their actions and commitment to defending the helpless exemplify heroism in defense of children and our country. THE THIN BLUE LINE For me, when I hear mention of the “thin blue line” I cannot help but think of the men and women that took the oath to pro- tect and serve society and the dangers they face from just doing the job. The history of this phrase dates back to the 1920’s when New York Police Commissioner Richard Enright first used the phrase in a public relations effort. That was then followed over the years by others, but particularly in Los Angeles in the 1950’s by Chief Bill Parker who used it to describe how the police were the steel girders needed to underpin law and order. One of my favorite authors, former Joseph Wambaugh, former LAPD officer, main- streamed the phrase through the 1980’s. Yet, it was Judge Don Metcalfe who presided over the Dallas Police Officer Robert Wood murder trial, who explained it best. The Judge’s words that follow were used in the 1988 documentary film, The Thin Blue Line , and cogently underscore why we need to forever appreciate the police. While his words crystalize at the end of the second paragraph it is important to place it all in context. I always tried very hard - every judge I know of does - to not show emotion on the bench. The reason: if you do show emotion, the jury might take it that you're favoring on side or another. So you try to remain passive, emotionless, objective. I do have to admit that in the Adam's case - and I've never really said this - Doug Mulder's final argument was one I'd never heard before: about the "thin blue line" of police that separates the public from anarchy. I have to concede that my eyes kind of welled up when I heard that. It did get to me emotionally, but I don't think I showed it. A SMALL TOKEN As I was penning these words, I had learned that Detective
Richard Hershey of the New Jersey State Police was named the 2020 Trooper of the Year, that organization’s highest honor. De- tective Hershey had been following up on an investigation into a violent robbery at a trailer park in Southern New Jersey. He was there to help bring justice to victims, resolution to the families, and peace to the community that was targeted. Three of the robbery suspects had returned to the scene while Detective Hershey was there interviewing witnesses, which quickly erupted into a gun battle between Hershey and the suspects. Hershey was struck by gunfire but continued the fight even though he was bleeding profusely and unable to walk. His heroic actions prevent- ed further tragedy in that community and he is to be credited for protecting the citizens that were there. When I told my daughter about the event and how things unfolded, she turned to me with a smile and said, “Dad, what do you expect, he is a superhero!” When we appreciate something, regardless of what it may be, we do so by estimating the quality and worth of it. Whether it is standing between opposing demonstrators offering them all opportunities to express their grievances peacefully, handing out shoes to the homeless, rendering aid to the needy, stopping or finding violent offenders, protecting children from sex offend- ers, evacuating potential bombing victims, or being on the front line of a pandemic, it is clear to me that in the chill of the night we can all be thankful that we have guardians out there to keep watch over us. When we see the best and worst in our society we are reminded that law enforcement is fundamental to our sacred democracy. Take some time today and show your appreciation to your profession. Thank a fellow officer, your partner, a friend across the country that have also taken the oath. Superheroes and cops don’t expect much in return, a simple smile, a nod of the head, or perhaps a thumbs-up is all. We know you and they deserve it, and certainly appreciate it.
*** This article was adapted from a Motorola Solutions Blog Post that was published on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day this past January.
About the Author: As one of the foremost experts in data fusion and analysis in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, Ray Guidetti has been on the cut- ting edge of how to blend different data sources into actionable intelligence for more than 25 years. Early on in his career, he was assigned to the prosecutorial investigative team responsible for the events surround- ing the United Airlines Flight 93 hijacking. This would lead to a work on domestic and international terrorism investigations as part of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and a distinguished career in county and state law enforcement organizations in New Jersey. Throughout
his career, Ray was known for developing strategic plans in applied technology, management, communication and training and evaluation with proven results in violent crime reduction. With an FBI Top Secret SCI Security Clearance and most recently serving as a senior policy advisor to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Ray has a reputation for establishing, implementing and directing the top analytic work- forces responsible for data fusion operations, crime gun intelligence, threat and risk analysis, information sharing and threat monitoring. Ray joined the Client Relations Team to continue to help officers make a difference in the prevention and reduction of violent crime. He believes in applying old-school methods with new technology in order to stop a threat in its tracks and build a strong case against a threat actor. References 1 Chammah, Maurice; Aspinwall, Cary (June 9, 2020). "The Short, Fraught History of the 'Thin Blue Line' American Flag" . Politico. Retrieved 31 December 2020. 2 "Thin Blue Line: Interview Gallery". Errol Morris. Retrieved 2016-12-13
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